Washburn Shops 235
PhD Mechanical Engineering, University of Vermont 1983
MS Mechanical Engineering, University of Vermont 1979
BA Political Science, University of Vermont 1975


Working with scholars and students, especially undergraduates, on research and design projects is what I like best about my three and a half decades at WPI. My degrees are from the University of Vermont. There I was most fortunate to be coached by Mickey Cochran and advised by Branimir von Turkovich for my MS on fracture testing and PhD on metal cutting. Before coming to WPI in 1989 I worked on mechanical metallurgy, surface metrology, and ski equipment at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), and I worked on product and process development at Atlas Copco’s European research center (CERAC). At WPI I started the Surface Metrology Lab, Haas Technical Education Center for CNC machining, and the Sports Engineering Lab. I have developed two graduate courses, Axiomatic Design of Manufacturing Processes and Surface Metrology, and undergraduate courses on manufacturing engineering and on the technology of alpine skiing. I also do research, publish, lecture, and consult for industry on axiomatic design, surface metrology, and sports engineering.

Visit Digital WPI to view student projects and research advised by Professor Brown.

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Preview Decent Work and Economic Growth Goal

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Preview Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure Goal

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Preview Responsible Consumption and Production Goal

Tutorial: Introduction to Axiomatic Design (ICAD 2023)

Scholarly Work

Professor Brown researches and publishes on topics in Surface Metrology, Axiomatic Design, Sports Engineering, and Industry 5.0 for Small and Medium Enterprises.


Brown, C. A. (2021). Surface metrology principles for snow and ice friction studies. Frontiers in Mechanical Engineering, 7, 753906.

Brown, C. A., & Rauch, E. (2019). Axiomatic design for creativity, sustainability, and industry 4.0. In MATEC Web of Conferences (Vol. 301, p. 00016). EDP Sciences.

Brown, C. A., Hansen, H. N., Jiang, X. J., Blateyron, F., Berglund, J., Senin, N., ... & Zahouani, E. H. (2018). Multiscale analyses and characterizations of surface topographies. CIRP annals, 67(2), 839-862.

Bartkowiak, T., Berglund, J., & Brown, C. A. (2018). Establishing functional correlations between multiscale areal curvatures and coefficients of friction for machined surfaces. Surface Topography: Metrology and Properties, 6(3), 034002.

Vulliez, M., Gleason, M. A., Souto-Lebel, A., Quinsat, Y., Lartigue, C., Kordell, S. P., ... & Brown, C. A. (2014). Multi-scale curvature analysis and correlations with the fatigue limit on steel surfaces after milling. Procedia CIRP, 13, 308-313.

Scott, R. S., Ungar, P. S., Bergstrom, T. S., Brown, C. A., Grine, F. E., Teaford, M. F., & Walker, A. (2005). Dental microwear texture analysis shows within-species diet variability in fossil hominins. Nature, 436(7051), 693-695.

Brown, C. A., & Siegmann, S. (2001). Fundamental scales of adhesion and area–scale fractal analysis. International Journal of Machine Tools and Manufacture, 41(13-14), 1927-1933.


  1. US 5,307,292 Method of Quantifying the Topographic Structure of a Surface April 26, 1994 Christopher A. Brown, William A. Johnsen, Patrick D. Charles  
  2. US 7,788,965 Portable Friction Testing Device September 7, 2010 William A. Arnold, Chenghsiung Lin, Christopher A. Brown, Torbjorn S. Bergstrom, Douglas J. Geiger 
  3. US 9,089,763 Skate boot force absorbing appliance 28 Jul. 2015 Brown, Christopher A., Karin E. Greene, and Devon L. Rehm 
  4. US 9,358,447 Rapid Response Ski Binding 6-7-16 Christopher A. Brown, John M. Madura 
  5. US 9,339,719 Ski Binding Plate (to reduce ACL injuries) 5-17-16 Christopher A. Brown, John M. Madura 
  6. US 9,651,466 Edge sharpness measurement, May 16, 2017. Christopher Brown, Jocelyn Close, Jason Hopkins, Michael Dragonas, Frank Bruton 
  7. US 9,730,486 B2: Self-Recovering Impact Absorbing Footwear; Brown, C., Workman, N., Doyle, M. and Shelsky, J. (2017).  
  8. US 10,888,138-B2 Self-recovering impact absorbing footwear 
  9. US 11,445,784-B2 Adjustable response elastic kinetic energy converter and storage field system for a footwear appliance 
  10. US 11,590,406 B2 Multi-mode load absorbing ski binding, Feb.28,2023, Jacob J. Billington, Jonathan D. Comden, Sean J. Regan, Thomas C. Roberti, Christopher A. Brown 
  11. US 11,622,596 B2 Footwear force mitigation assembly, Apr. 11, 2023, Christopher A. Brown, Winton Parker, James J. Muller, Abigale McAdams, Pedro D. Oporto, Josephine Bowen, Sarah Duquette, Eric Motler, Tristin J. Carlton, Nicholas Workman, Michael Doyle, Jessica Shelsky, Jessica K. Y. Cheu, Lorenzo M. Dube, Olivia G. Steen, Andrew R. Vickery 
  12. US 11,801,436B2 Ski binding suspension system for vertical load transmission, Oct. 31, 2023, Christopher A. Brown, Madison M. Healey, Matthew Newell, Kendra S. O'Malley, Connor H. O'Neill 
  13. US 20200077743 A1  Impact absorbing footwear protrusion, January 23, 2024, Christopher A. Brown 
  14. US 2020/0077736 A1 Downwards absorbing and upwards accommodating footwear heel March 12, 2020, Christopher A. Brown, James J. Muller, Julia A. Dunn, Alexander R. Alvarez, Kyle R. Mudge, Rachael Naoum   
Professional Highlights & Honors
National Secretary for the United States, SITEMSH (International Society for Snowsports Medicine), 2010

International Association for Axiomatic Design, 2013

Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), 2005

International Director, Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), 2001 - 2005

Founding President, Haas Technical Education Center Council, 2001 - 2004

Founding member, European Council, ASM International, a Materials Society, 1986 - 1989

University of Vermont Athletic Hall of Fame, 1989

Co-Captain, University of Vermont Ski Team, 1974; Eastern Downhill Champion, 1973 & 1974; First Team All-American , 1973


SEE MORE NEWS ABOUT Christopher Brown
Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers
In support of sports

A magazine article on efforts to improve athletic equipment for women features a project led by Christopher Brown, professor of mechanical & materials engineering. He worked with students to design a spring-based shoe sole to protect athletes from injury. 


Other Inventor(s):
Jocelyn Close, Jason Hopkins, Michael Dragonas, Frank Burton
Other Inventor(s):
Storie Nivers, Matthew A. Gleason, David Etievant, Tomas Bartkowiak
Other Inventor(s):
Austin McCalmont, Jared Grier, David Parker, Jeffery St. Hilaire
Other Inventor(s):
Karin E. Greene, Devon L. Rehm